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Segue Misses Target, But Crowds Reduced

By Richa Maheshwari

STAFF REPORTER

Although the Senior Segue attracted only slightly more than half the number of students MIT had hoped for, overcrowding in undergraduate dorms will nonetheless be reduced next year.

“The worst crowding situations will be gone next year, such as using the MacGregor lounges as rooms, and using the New House doubles as quads,” said Dormitory Council President Matthew S. Cain ’02. “The singles at [East Campus] will still be used as doubles, but this has been the case for a while, and it will still be an improvement.”

“We have been able to fix the crowding situation in the worst crowds on campus,” said Manager of Undergraduate Residential Services Denise A. Vallay. She said that MIT’s crowding situation would still improve despite the low numbers for the Senior Segue. Only 88 undergraduates will move into graduate housing next year, including sisters from Kappa Alpha Theta who are moving into Sidney-Pacific, Vallay said.

“Even though it looks like we have taken only 88 people out of the system, that translates into improvement in the lives in many more people -- the people who were crowded, and the people people who they were crowded with,” Vallay said. “We feel we have made a tremendous start and have come a long way towards solving the overcrowding problem.”

No further plans announced

No further measures have been implemented to reduce the crowding situation, in part because it is still unclear how large of a problem it will be. As of now, the number of uncrowded spaces that are available is approximately 2,950, while the number of spaces that are needed is still unclear.

“[The number of spaces needed] depends on the size of the freshman class, the number of people returning from leaves of absence, junior year abroad, depledging current freshman to whom we have guaranteed spots, and also special considerations for medical and counseling support,” Vallay said. “It is not clear how many spaces we need.”

Vallay said that spaces in the graduate dorms Ashdown House and Sidney-Pacific are still available, and Senior Segue applications will be considered if they come in.

“We are still working on some other contingency plans to free up a few more beds here and there,” said Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

Graduate Student Council President Sanith Wijesinghe said that crowding will still be a problem next year, despite the progress made thus far. “Reductions in undergraduate enrollment and/or more on campus housing options are required before overcrowding ceases to be a problem completely,” he said.

However, despite the lower-than-expected numbers for undergraduates moving to graduate housing, Wijesinghe said there would still be a negative impact on graduate students. “Clearly, taking more beds away from graduate students is going to be detrimental,” he said. “There will be greater pressure on current students to find affordable off-campus housing.”